Three people were killed and at least 20 others seriously injured after a car plowed into pedestrians in Australia's second-largest city on Friday, a Victoria state police official said. It prompted a major police operation as officials told the public to stay away from the area.
A man driving the vehicle "deliberately drove into pedestrians" on Bourke Street, a main road running through downtown Melbourne, Victoria state police acting commander Stuart Bateson said at a press conference. He added that the suspect is in custody and is believed to be linked to an earlier stabbing in the area.
"The exact circumstances surrounding the incident are yet to be determined and we will provide further information when it comes to hand," police said in a statement.
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Video footage shot from a news helicopter overhead showed several heavily armed police officers standing near the area where the incident occurred. Police could be seen examining a heavily damaged red car at the scene. Several other police were standing over a man lying on the sidewalk, his hands apparently handcuffed behind his back.
The streets around the incident were shut down.
The Australian Open tennis championship is currently being held in the city.